Natali Morris Blog

June 19, 2017

7 Things You Really Should Know About Insurance

I’ve always had a cursory understanding of insurance but just enough to secure a mortgage or buy a car. I was feeling a little silly about that so I picked up this book: Wise Up: The Savvy Consumer’s Guide To Buying Insurance: Home, Rental, Auto, Umbrella Edition. It was written by a nonprofit consumer advocacy group called United Policyholders. They are not funded by any insurance companies.

I highly recommend this book! It is the size of a Kindle Single so you can finish it in a day and when you’re done, you will understand exactly what you are getting and exactly what you are NOT getting when you secure an insurance policy.

There is no doubt that buying insurance can be sketchy but just like everything else in life, the more informed you are as a consumer, the better you will do. There are a lot of valuable nuggets but I’ve collected a few takeaways to share. These are things that I did not know prior to reading this book and perhaps you did not either.

One last thing to keep in mind is the importance of good record keeping. The book says that when it comes to insurance claims “he with the best notes wins.” Or she! The authors, United Policyholders, have an app that you can use to inventory everything you own in the event you need to file a claim to replace it. This sounds like an exceedingly tedious chore but I concede that it is a worthy task. We had some extensive damage during Hurricane Irene in 2011. Specifically this happened:


Hurricane Irene, 2011. That’s our tree taking out portions of our deck, our fence, and our neighbor’s back porch. That was un-awesome.

So I am very aware of the need for good insurance. I’m just glad I understand it a whole heck of a lot better now.

What are some issues and concerns you have had about insurance shopping? Happy to learn together!


Disclaimer: Natali Morris is not a certified financial advisor. She is an autodidact. She writes this blog to chronicle and share her self-guided education about personal finance. She is not selling financial products or recommending that you do anything other than educate yourself on the various options about finance. 

One response to “7 Things You Really Should Know About Insurance”

  1. Brent Ward says:


    One issue we always run into is with rising costs over time pertaining to auto insurance. I was with state farm from the time I got my license/first car at 16 and then for the next 15+ years or so. I didn’t realize until looking back, at how much my rates had gone up over time. I’ve really tried the loyalty route, but these days every dollar counts, so I’ve shopped around every year (at least two) to get new quotes for similar coverage. In some cases I really saved a decent amount, in others not so much.

    If at all possible, to save on some other areas:
    – go paperless with billing
    – pay the full 6 months at once instead of monthly (they usually add a small fee for doing a monthly draft/billing)

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